Air hockey is a game where two players play against each other on a low-friction table. Air hockey requires an air-hockey table, two player-held strikers, and a puck.

Air Hockey table has very smooth and slippery surface which reduces friction by suspending the puck on cushion of air, so that this its motion is much less altered by friction, causing it to glide in a straight line at relatively constant velocity across the table.


Air hockey was invented by a group of Brunswick Billiards employees from 1969 to 1972. In 1969, a trio of Brunswick engineers – Phil Crossman, Bob Kenrick, and Brad Baldwin – began work on creating a game using a frictionless surface. The project stagnated for several years until it was revived by Bob Lemieux, who then focused on implementing an abstracted version of ice hockey, with a thin disk, two strikers and slit-like goals equipped with photodetectors. It was then decided that the game might appeal to a larger market and air hockey was marketed and sold to the general public. The original patents reference Crossman, Kendrick, and Lemieux. It should also be noted that the air table proper had already been patented before Brunswick’s project, though for unrelated purposes.

Moves & Techniques

Competitive (tournament) play is usually distinguished by the following:

  • The striker is gripped behind the knob using one’s fingertips, not on top of it. This allows more wrist action and helps the player to move the striker around the table faster.
  • For basic defense, the striker is kept centered at least 8 inches out from the goal. In this position, very slight movements to the left and right will block virtually all straight shots. To block bank shots, one pulls back quickly to the corners of the goal. This is known as the “triangle defense”.
  • Shots are often hit out of “drifts”, where the puck travels in set patterns designed to throw off the opponent’s expectations and timing. The most popular drifts are the “center”, “diamond”, “diagonal”, and “L”.
  • Shots are often organized into meaning groups of shots which are hit with the same apparent delivery but opposite directions, caused by hitting the puck at slightly different locations on the striker. For example, a transverse motion of the right arm can lead to a “cut shot” to the left corner of the opponent’s goal or a “right wall under” (bank off the right wall, into the right corner of the opponent’s goal).

Formation of FIBA

Since its inception, the USAA has sanctioned at least one national-level or World championship each year, crowning 12 different champions over 30 years. In March 2015, the Air Hockey Players Association (AHPA) was announced and is providing air hockey players with an additional organization also overseeing the sport of air hockey. The two organizations run independently but abide by a similar set of rules and share many of the same players. In July 2015, the AHPA crowned not only its first world champion but also the youngest in the history of the sport in Colin Cummings of Beaumont, TX. Today, professional air hockey is played by a close-knit community of serious players around the world, with extensive player bases near HoustonSan FranciscoSacramentoLos AngelesSan DiegoDenverChicagoNew York City, and Boston in the United States of America, Barcelona in Spain, Saint PetersburgMoscow, and Novgorod in Russia. and Most and Brno in the Czech Republic. From the late 1980s, CaracasVenezuela served as a hotbed of activity; three-time World Champion Jose Mora and other finalists originated from there. By 1999 most of the Venezuelan activity had disappeared.

Hall of Fame

Colin Cummings

Colin Cummings